Childhood Favourites: Arctic Roll

Childhood Favourites: Arctic Roll

I am a child of the 80′s. Yes, I spent a decade eating chicken nuggets, potato waffles, beef burgers, Viennetta and Angel Delight. It is a miracle that I didn’t contract Mad Cow Disease with the amount of questionable quality, processed beef I ate. My diet was very different back then but I look back fondly to the food of my childhood. It was common practice for people to shop in supermarkets that were entirely dedicated to frozen food. It seems like a completely alien concept now, but I’ve just Googled it and they still exist. Needless to say I can’t find an Australian equivalent. I think that says it all.

I talk about frozen food supermarkets as it was a memory of a special treat dessert, purchased from said place, that inspired this months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet has challenged us to make a childhood favourite and mine was Arctic Roll. An Arctic Roll is like a Swiss roll but instead of having a butter cream filling, it is stuffed with ice cream and frozen. Yes, it is a frozen sponge cake and ice cream dessert, which in the 80′s could be conveniently purchased from your favourite frozen food aisle.

The other part of the the challenge was to make your childhood favourite with an adult twist. I thought making it from scratch would do. The highly processed dessert is definitely more appealing to a child’s palate so homemade sponge cake with good quality ice cream has to be better right?

I often make things from scratch and my rule is I will only attempt something if I think it will taste as good as, if not better than the shop bought equivalent. Sadly, I think this one was a failure. It was, dare I say it, nice… It wasn’t the “special treat” I remember, but I guess my tastes have changed. Oh well, on the plus side, if you want a dessert that can be produced at a moments notice for those unexpected guests this is a great option to keep in the freezer, and it wasn’t a disaster…

Arctic Roll

  • 2 eggs;
  • 100g golden caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling;
  • 75g plain flour;
  • 10g cocoa powder;
  • 2-3 large teaspoons of strawberry jam;
  • 500ml tub of good quality vanilla ice cream.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a rectangular baking tray (26cm x 36cm) with baking paper. Grease the baking paper as well. It’s really important that the cake doesn’t stick so it can be rolled.
  3. To make the cake, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk with the caster sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Stir through the flour and cocoa powder, then pour into the lined baking tray.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes. Make sure you don’t over bake the sponge otherwise it will will crack when you roll it. Place another sheet of baking paper on the work bench, grease and sprinkle with caster sugar. Once the cake is baked turn out immediately onto the baking paper.
  5. While the sponge cake is still hot, take the long side of the cake and roll tightly with the paper still inside so it doesn’t stick. Secure so it doesn’t unroll and allow to cool.
  6. While the cake is cooling put the ice-cream in the fridge to soften. Just don’t leave it for too long or it will be too soft and will leak from the cake when it’s rolled up.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, carefully unroll it and spread with good quality strawberry jam. I found some strawberry and pinot jam in the cupboard so I guess that adds an adult twist.  Spread a thin, even layer all over the cake. Next spread a 1cm thick layer of ice-cream over the sponge leaving a 1cm boarder along the top, long edge. You won’t use all of the ice-cream but it is difficult to say exactly how much you will need. Any left over ice cream can go back in the freezer to serve with the finished roll.
  8. Roll up carefully but tightly, wrap in baking paper and glad wrap, then freeze for 3-4 hours before serving. You will find some of the ice-cream leaks out but as long as it’s not too soft it will stay in the centre of the sponge.

Slice to serve, with extra ice-cream if it has all leaked out!

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